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Am I a Candidate for Joint Replacement?

Feb 14, 2015

Experiencing the debilitating effects of a damaged joint is a painful situation that you shouldn’t have to deal with. If this is the case, you could be a candidate for joint replacement which is one of the leading surgical procedures for aging members of the population.

Joint pain typically occurs when cartilage of the joint becomes brittle over time and wears away. When this occurs, the ends of the bones no longer have protective cushioning between them and they rub against each other. This can be very painful and uncomfortable for the patient.

In a joint replacement, your surgeon will replace the damaged joint with an artificial one. This simple procedure is very safe and has improved the lives of many who struggled with the pain of damaged joints.

Keep reading to find out if you’re a candidate for joint replacement so you can finally get the relief you deserve as soon as possible.

Your joint flexibility and range of motion is limited

If you’re experiencing a great deal of pain and limited range of motion in a joint like your hip, shoulder, or knee, you may be suffering from a damaged joint. In some cases, this pain can be reduced by simple methods, but joint replacement may be necessary in other severe cases.

You haven’t had luck with various non-surgical treatments

In order to get back to the activities you once enjoyed, you’ve probably tried several different non-surgical treatment options like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, injection therapy, and bracing devices. However, if your joint damage is too severe, these treatment methods may not provide improved results or pain relief. When all non-surgical options have been exhausted, joint replacement is your best option to help you lead a normal, pain-free life

You’re in good health otherwise

It’s important to be in good health overall before undergoing a joint replacement procedure. The physician will conduct an evaluation to determine if you’re healthy enough for the procedure before scheduling your surgery. Surgery is considered a last resort and involves anesthesia and rehabilitation for your new joint to work properly. Those who are not healthy enough to withstand the anesthesia or perform the rehabilitation are not recommended for joint replacement surgery.

You’re between the ages of 55 and 70

Individuals who are under the age of 55 typically experience failure after undergoing some joint replacement surgeries. The reason this occurs is because the younger the patient, the sooner the replacement joint will wear out. In these situations, a revision surgery will be needed in the future, but revisions are often less effective because there is not enough bone to support the implant.

If you fit into most or all of these qualifications, you are probably an ideal candidate for joint replacement surgery. However, it’s always essential to discuss your candidacy for joint replacement surgery with your physician. He or she will evaluate you and determine if you are, in fact, a good candidate for joint replacement surgery.

For more information about how to find an orthopaedic surgeon to perform your joint replacement surgery, download our education e-book, How to Choose an Orthopaedic Surgeon.